10/25/12 - Candied Bacon, You are welcome and I'm sorry.

You are welcome for sharing this amazing recipe with you, but I'm sorry because you will begin wanting it on a regular basis, and this recipe probably wouldn't be approved by 99% of dietitians out there.  I've learned to only make this for special occasions and to immediately cut pieces into 1 inch squares immediately after cooling.  Otherwise, it's WAY too easy to pick up a whole strip and consume...and then repeat.

I've made this several times in the past, but apparently never wrote down how I do it so it's trial and error for the first few batches every time.  I'm going to write it down this time so no more burnt or soggy bacon!!!

Very important piece of information is the bacon used.  I've tried this with off brand, thin cut, standard bacon and it simply wasn't all that great.  I only use the nicer bacon, Hickory Smoked Petit Jean is my favorite.  It's a bit more expensive, but worth the extra cost.

Between each batch of bacon, be sure to remove the excess sugar and bacon grease/fat from the pan.  I've contemplated saving this for use in a different application, but have not come up with a solution. Share your ideas in the comments below if you have any.

Also, be sure to keep the bacon refrigerated between rounds.  By the time you are done, you'll have room temperature bacon as opposed to the colder bacon at the beginning which will result in crispier (possibly burnt?) bacon.

I use a 13 minute, 14 minute rotation at 325, but bumping to 350 would result in a crispier bacon.  Next time I prepare this, I'll play around with more time and temperatures, but the results from the following recipe were fantastic.

  1. Preheat your oven and stoneware pan to 325 degrees.  When I make this, I make several batches of about 5-6 pieces per round.  After the first batch, the stone will be preheated, so to enjoy a consistent product, preheating the stone allows for this.
  2. Lay down the bacon giving each piece a little bit of room, this will make it easier when flipping.  
  3. Cover each piece with brown sugar.  Don't mound the sugar, but rather just enough where you get a thin coating.  As this bakes, the sugar will melt and spread.
  4. Put in the oven for 13 minutes.
  5. Pull out the stone, flip each piece and coat again with brown sugar using the same process as above.
  6. Bake for another 14 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and pan, placing the now completed candied bacon on room temperature surface.  I use our dinner plates, but any surface where melted sugar wouldn't have a good chance to adhere to.  Stay away from paper towels.



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10/10/12 - Proper running/driving etiquette?

Now that I've been running more lately, I've come across several situations where I question the ability of the average human to properly operate a motor vehicle.  However, at the same time, I question if I'm the one that is not handling the situation properly.  Although I have a pretty good feeling that the only responses I get to this blog post will be from an Anonymous commenter advertising the greatest anti aging cream ever, I still have to try.

Here's the issue, at least for this post, there might be more in the future.  When I'm running on a sidewalk, with the flow of traffic*, and a vehicle from the opposite direction is turning left down the side street that I am about to cross, there seems to be way too much confusion on the part of the driver as to what they should do.

As I come up to an intersection and I see a car turning onto a side street, I'll typically slow down if I think there come be any possibility that we meet at the same time.  I feel that the car has the right of way, and even if they don't, I should yield to them for safety reasons.  If I think I can make it with no issue, I'll speed up and pass.

The confusion comes in when the driver makes the turn, and gets halfway onto the side street, the rear of the car, or sometimes all of the car still in oncoming traffic of the main street.  Apparently they didn't notice me on the sidewalk a mere 20 feet in front of them and they immediately stop when they do, even though I had come to a stand still jog.  Instead of motioning for me to cross, or honking, they just sit and stare.  It then becomes my responsibility to remind them that they are now blocking traffic and should go, so I wave them on.

I've had a handful of situations where they, in return signal for me to go ahead and cross...all the while, they are still sitting in traffic.  I'm not sure who is correct, but it seems to me that from a safety viewpoint, the car should get out of the oncoming lanes.  I'm pretty sure if the drivers were paying more attention, they could have waited to turn and allowed me to cross before making the turn.  That seems like a pretty big stretch though to ask other drivers to pay attention to their surroundings.

So there's my question, all that to ask "How should the situation be handled when a driver attempts to turn onto a street that I'm attempting to cross?"


* I could be in the wrong by running with traffic.  However, it is my understanding that running against traffic is only applicable when running on the shoulder or directly in the lane of traffic, essentially when no sidewalks are available.  Someone please correct me if I'm wrong here.  Should I as a pedestrian, always go against the flow of traffic even if a sidewalk is not available on that side of the road, or should the sidewalk always take precedence?

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